Mark it on your calendar and make sure you’re stocked up with coffee. Experts predict that Dec. 14 will see a peak in people wishing that they hadn’t had “one last drink” the night before.
Researchers monitored major social media channels to discover when people were most likely to post messages mentioning the word hangover. And while Christmas Day, perhaps unsurprisingly, came top, Dec.14 was the most hungover day during the festive build-up.
In fact, there were more than twice as many social media mentions of hangovers across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. as at the beginning of the month, the topic accounting for 5 per cent of all conversations.
Ford commissioned the research in order to highlight the risks of drinking the morning after, when many drivers are still over the legal drink driving limit. For example, in the U.K. 1 in 10 drink driving arrests take place between 06:00 and 08:00. * Even when drivers are no longer over the legal alcohol limit they still present a risk that can be as high as for those who are drink driving, with drivers likely to be sleep deprived and their reaction times are affected. **
“There’s no way of knowing exactly how long it takes to sober up completely the morning after, but it’s longer than many people think,” said Charli Brunning, spokesperson for Brake, the U.K.’s national road safety charity. “If you had a heavy or late night drinking this festive season you could be over the limit for all of the next day so make your travel arrangements in advance. It’s a fact that even small amounts of alcohol or drugs increase your risk of crashing. It might not just be your licence that is lost, it could be someone’s life.”
The issue is brought home to those attending the company’s Ford Driving Skills for Life programme. Students wear a unique “Hangover Suit” developed by the renowned Meyer‑Hentschel Institute, in Germany. This consists a special vest, wrist and ankle weights, cap and goggles, and headphones to simulate symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, a throbbing head and difficulty concentrating.
“Following years of driver education, driving at night after drinking alcohol is a huge social no-no. But this is not so much the case for those who drive the morning after. The ‘Hangover Suit’ shows how debilitating a hangover can be – and the risk that driving in that condition can present to all road users,” said Ford Driving Skills for Life Manager Jim Graham.
Among those who have already experienced the suit first hand is Dr Richard Stephens, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, in the U.K., and an alcohol researcher with expertise in hangover
“People often do not realise the degree to which a hangover impacts your core ability to do anything,” said Prof. Stephens. “The ‘Hangover Suit’ brings that point home loud and clear.”
According to research, overall Sundays are the most hungover days, 11:00 is the peak hangover time, and Oct. 29 is among the days when hangovers are most likely to strike. ***
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